There are fewer drunk drivers on the road nationwide, but DUIs are still a factor in a third of all car accident deaths. Drunk driving accidents remain distressingly common in Stockbridge, and in Georgia overall DUI accidents have killed 3700 people over a 10-year period. If you or a family member has been in an accident with a drunk driver, you don’t have to pay your medical bills on your own. You have a right to recover substantial financial rewards, but you need to talk to a Stockbridge drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Let John Foy & Associates put our 20 years of experience to work for you. Our law firm’s mission is to help accident victims get the most money possible so they can heal from their injures and move forward with their lives. We only accept victims as clients, so you’ll never see us taking the side of the insurance company or a drunk driver. We’ll talk to you for free and explain your legal options. Call us at 404-400-4000 to schedule your free consultation today.
What does “DUI” mean in Stockbridge?
Most people think of DUI as drunk driving, but the City of Stockbridge follows Georgia state law, which defines DUI to include driving while impaired by any substance, including drugs as well as alcohol. Any substance that can cause you to lose control, affect your nervous system, or alter your response time can impact your driving. Common substances involved in DUI cases include:
- Prescription medicine
- Over the counter medicine that causes drowsiness
- Illegal drugs like marijuana, heroin or cocaine
Most of the time, the police give a driver a chemical test to detect alcohol or drugs. Breath and blood tests can determine whether a driver has a blood alcohol content that is greater than the legal limit of .08%. Blood and urine tests can show whether a driver has drugs in his or her system. But some drivers never take a test and are still convicted of DUI.
If I’ve been hit by a drunk driver in Stockbridge, what should I do?
The most important thing to do is to get emergency medical treatment for yourself and anyone else who needs it. If your injures don’t need immediate care, there are some things you can do at the accident scene to protect your rights. We recommend that you:
- Phone the police. A police accident report is an important part of your claim, so you should make sure the police are called to the scene. Wait for the officers to arrive and tell them exactly what happened.
- Tell the police you believe the other driver is intoxicated. Explain the reason for your suspicions, and the police can then observe the other driver and administer field sobriety or Breathalyzer tests to see if he or she is in fact under the influence. They may arrest the driver for DUI right away.
- Take video of your conversations with the other driver. Impaired drivers may slur their speech, seem unsteady on their feet or become argumentative. Your cell phone camera is an excellent way to collect evidence of what you saw and heard. The recording can give a jury a clear view of what happened, instead of just relying on what you and the other driver said.
- Watch the other driver. Keep your cell phone camera handy and record any attempts by the other driver to get rid of evidence. Impaired drivers often throw things away or use eye drops to cover up bloodshot eyes.
- Talk with witnesses. If there are bystanders or people who stopped to help, find out if they saw the accident or the driver’s behavior just before the accident. They may also have observed the driver’s intoxication at the accident scene. Ask them what they saw and get their contact information.
Most importantly, speak with a lawyer as soon as you can. Any case involving DUI is complicated, and you can be sure that the insurance company will want to avoid paying you what your case is worth.
How much money can I get in a DUI accident claim in Stockbridge?
Car accidents in Stockbridge fall under Georgia law, which allows victims to recover 100 percent of the costs and damages caused by the accident. This includes:
- Medical costs, including hospitals and specialists
- Lost wages due to missed days at work
- The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Large amounts of money for serious losses such as pain and disabilities
These damages aren’t limited to DUI cases—they’re available to victims of all types of auto accidents. But DUI victims are also allowed to recover additional money known as “punitive damages.” Punitive damages are designed to punish behavior that the state wants to discourage, like drunk driving. So, in addition to helping accident victims move on with their lives, punitive damages send a strong signal that Georgia has no tolerance for DUI.
Because of punitive damages, you may be entitled to much more money than you expect. We often see DUI accident claims that are worth more than $100,000.
What if I was riding in the drunk driver’s car?
You don’t lose your legal rights just because you were riding with the drunk driver. The driver still made a bad decision and is legally accountable for it. Like other DUI accident victims, you are entitled to all of your costs and damages, plus possible punitive damages. However, local courts sometimes treat a drunk driver’s passengers differently than other victims. For example, a court may not want to award you as much money if you knew the driver was impaired and got in the car anyway. If you were a passenger, it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer right away.
Speak to a Stockbridge Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
A single accident can change your life forever. But you shouldn’t bear the financial burden of someone else’s decision to drive drunk. We provide a free consultation, where we’ll talk about your case and how to get the money you deserve. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.